Monday, December 10, 2007

Caspian Sea Oil and Gas Reserves

The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the entire world. It provides beautiful views to the countries that border it, and an essential port for trade between these countries. A large amount of the world’s caviar is harvested from the large sturgeon population that thrives in its murky depths. The largest reason for dissention and political dispute between the neighboring nations of the Caspian is its enormous potential for some of the largest natural resource yields in the entire world.

The Caspian Sea is bordered by five nations. Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, and Turkmenistan, all have interest in the development of this huge body of water. The three northern countries, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan, signed a 2003 agreement dividing the northern 64% of the sea amongst themselves. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have steadily increased their oil exploration in the region since the 1990s and have been rewarded with a 70% increase in oil production.

The Caspian, in terms of oil output, is believed to hold up to 200 billion barrels of oil. This amount would be as much as a quarter of the entire Earth’s reserves and would be worth upwards of 10 trillion dollars in today’s market. Controversy erupted with the dissolution of the Soviet Union; many of the newly independent states did not recognize the ancient treaty signed by Russia and Persia that divided the lake in the middle. Preliminary solutions have been reached in the interim, dividing the region amongst the five nations, but of course, not every nation feels the new terms of division are satisfactory.

Conflicts are sure to arise between all five nations in the future because of the current situation. Currently, several oil fields are in dispute because they are shared between two or three of the countries. Iran and Azerbaijan both claim exploratory rights to the same fields; Iran has even opened fire on Azerbaijani ships venturing into this disputed area. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are grappling over a shared field because one country feels the other is pumping much more than its fair share of oil.

The natural gas deposits in this area can also be seen as over 25% of the entire Earth’s proven supplies. The profit from the extraction of natural gas is a point of contention between these countries as well. The United States and other countries that import resources from the region are watching closely as these discussions take place, because the outcome weighs heavily upon the future energy supplies of the world.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit

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